i’m posting a response i sent to esther dyson where i suggest a different approach to conferences. my hope is that there can be more smaller conferences with a focus on bringing industry participants together and encouraging new collaborative approaches.
But the new discussion I’d like to foster is how participants in emerging industries can create new collaborative models. I tried this in the beginning of social networking, creating FOAF but couldn’t get friendster (jonathan) to see past their noses! They were worried about comp from below (us and others) instead of the real comp from above (yhoo).
I’m hoping that with the new online ad industry and emerging open p2p marketplace, big and small players can work together. Here’s why. Big players need to *absorb* the innovation of small players in order to remain competitive. Instead they resist them until its too late and then buy them if they can. Small players need to focus their innovation on new problems and not spend cycles just trying to get an audience or recreate the base services already out there.
I would love to see industry leaders and conf organizers band together to help enable this dialog and have a lot of ideas to help.
as an entrepreneur, i’m always wishing i had access to the big platforms that major players have created. it would be so much more interesting and fun to start with all of ebay as my market. big companies have the opposite problem. how can they experiment with a lot of new models and services without great risk to their large, existing business? google has done an impressive job, better than any company i’ve ever seen. yet even google with half the engineers in the valley cant experiment as fast as an ecosystem with 1000’s of scrappy entrepreneurs and engineers.